Updated: Jan 5
We often speak of cutting ties with toxic people in life. Why don't we do the same with bad lifestyle habits? The struggle to keep a healthy eating plan, make peace with our body and decide who's in control, you or Ben and Jerry.
As I lay on the sofa balancing a laptop on my inflammation riddled belly, I've decided to let you in on the worlds worst diet, The three-week diet plan.
This diet which I shamefully have followed for the past decade (or longer), consists of three weeks of diet plans you may have heard of or traumatized you in the past. Popular diets such as the Bone Broth Diet, Sugar Cleanse, Juicing, intense twice-daily workouts, and extreme calorie deficits claim to shrivel you up to a thinner and crankier version of your former self.
If followed with devotion, your reward will be an enviable physique. You no longer have to pose in such a way which dislocates your hip bone to create the hourglass figure. People will say you look radiant as your sunken cheekbones are in full display, a side effect of an extreme calorie deficit.
You'll feel awful but will look great according to acceptable norms. All the while, you are miserably hunger and in desperate need of a slice of cheesy pizza.
So you have one slice, I mean it's just a single slice, what could possibly go wrong. You deserve it after your intense and disciplined routine. Perhaps you'll reward yourself with a slice of cake—a small token of pleasure for having lost 8 pounds in three weeks.
Next thing you know, as you binge-watch your favourite series, you look down to see the entire cake is gone. You look around the room with curious eyes and disbelief, although you have no one to point the finger at as you live alone. You're an absolute wreck the following morning with a food hangover and riddled with inflammation. Was my face always this puffy? It settles down, but the damage is done. Might as well continue "cheating" for a full 24 hours, as they do say you should be allowed a "cheat day". After all, you were so disciplined for three weeks.
What follows is a sequence of events; you may be well aware of. The next three weeks are one questionable food decision after another. Every possible pointless errand becomes too essential and replaces the daily workouts. Ben and Jerry have taken control, but who could blame you, it is chocolate chip cookie dough after all. Three weeks pass, and you step on the scale. You've gained back the eight pounds, followed by five more. Damn.
Its time to lose the weight again, the cycle continues.
If you have found yourself in this strange predicament, you are not alone. The cycle of dieting then overeating is as common as the cold. It comes in stages and can last weeks if not years.
The constant gaining and losing of weight will reak havoc on your skin and emotional state of mind. Inflammatory foods such as processed meats, refined carbohydrates, and sugary alcoholic beverages bring upon awful hives and breakouts. Everything from your sleep to your mood is constantly changing. Your body is confused and quite frankly over you and your lack of decision making.
Have you ever asked a man if he thought you looked fat? At a time when you knew very well the answer to that question? If he answers correctly, you rip him to shreds for being inconsiderate or just plain evil to bring up your weight gain. He may say he's not noticed the weight gain, which clearly makes him a liar and you wonder what else he's lied about in the past. Either the way the poor man is left out on the battlefield without a winning side in-sight.
We are an educated bunch and know what it takes to create a healthy eating plan. Keep a food diary, stop emotional eating, look to friends for support, stop searching online for "body inspiration''. It's a struggle and one that I would like to make peace with this year. I'm sick of the word diet and would like to punch it in its skinny throat.
I love the fit version of myself. The feeling you get when you achieve your goals and have more energy. Fitness has been a large part of my life; I enjoy it and believe its important as part of a balanced lifestyle.
Three months ago, I had just returned from Thailand and a four-week muay Thai camp I attend yearly. I was in the best shape of my life at 60 kg and finally had my revenge body. I was also out of work, highly anxious and completely single, having created so many barriers and strategically placed emotional landmines not even the most adventurous man dared to push through.
Fast forward to the present day. I am now doing what I love most, telling you guys stories. I met a man in the most uncommon of situations, a pandemic. Even as he occasionally steps on a landmine, he's manoeuvred the obstacle course to my heart with grace. I now weigh 65 kg. I can't fit into my jeans and spend most days in leggings even though I'm rarely working out.
I'm making peace with the fact that I am my best at either weight. I'm finding a balance between restraint and pleasure. Focusing on a healthy lifestyle and being happy with my body is more important than putting myself through another extreme diet. I will break the three-week cycle.
Ben and Jerry... get in my belly.